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Cardinals safety Tyrann Mathieu makes ESPN insider's all-rookie team

Arizona Cardinals safety Tyrann Mathieu, right, knocks the ball out of the hands of St. Louis Rams tight end Jared Cook after Cook caught a 47-yard pass during the first quarter of an NFL football game on Sunday, Sept. 8, 2013, in St. Louis. Cardinals' Karlos Dansby recovered the ball in the end zone for a touchback. (AP Photo/L.G. Patterson)

A torn ACL and LCL against the St. Louis Rams on Dec. 8. might have derailed the latter part of Tyrann Mathieu's first season in the NFL, but it didn't stop one prominent NFL analyst from selecting the Arizona Cardinals safety to his all-rookie team.

Friday, Mathieu, who had 68 total tackles, two interceptions, a sack and a forced fumble in 13 games, was named to ESPN insider Mel Kiper Jr.'s post-season squad of first-year players.

S Tyrann Mathieu, Arizona: He could also qualify at cornerback, or nickelback, but I put him here based on how the Cardinals used him. Great season, injury aside.

In addition to making Kiper's all-rookie team, Mathieu was named the No. 12 best rookie of 2013. But he wasn't the only Cardinal player to make the list.

Kiper also listed running back Andre Ellington as his No. 22 rookie. Ellington, a sixth-round pick out of Clemson, finished second on Arizona in rushing yards (652) and rushing touchdowns (3).

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